Gathered Together
We Have Ourselves A Walker

Mentioning the Unmentionables

One of the most valuable things my parents did for me growing up was talk to me about sex.

Whoa.

What did I say?

Yes. They talked to me regularly about sex. They miraculously somehow didn’t feel awkward about it, or they hid it really well.

The five of you who read this blog are likely to have varied responses to what I just wrote. One of you is aghast and clicking to a new tab. One of you is turning beet red but will endure until the end. One of you will never read again. One of you is breathing a sigh of relief since this may not apply to you. And maybe, just maybe, one of you will benefit from what I’m about to write.

So I’m speaking mostly to us parents and parents-to-be, to simply offer an encouragement to talk to our kids about sex. I’m not quite sure why I feel so emboldened to write about this tonight. The quickening in my heart to do so has been here before. Maybe it’s because I’ve seen the detriment we parents can put our children in if we are either too embarrassed to do it, don’t know where to start, or feel like they’ll just figure things out as they go along and it’s not that important. It’s never too late to start, and I’ll go out on a limb and say that it’s never too soon to start talking about this with our children either (using age appropriate information).

Matt and I are learning just as you all are what age appropriate information is, but may I suggest that the more we start to introduce this topic to our children, the more comfortable and ready we’ll be to have more in-depth conversations. And possibly more importantly, our children will know we as their parents are the safe ones they can come to to ask questions about sex.

I am certainly not an expert. But, I do want to point out some resources that might be helpful as we try to navigate through this:

  • My friend, Marla, touch-pointed on this today, too. She speaks about sex regularly to various groups around the Ohio area. And she knows how to write about this so much better than I. In her post today she offers other resources than the ones I’m going to tell you about, so definitely read it as well as the comments where people chimed in their resources, too.
  • Antique Mommy is one of my favorite bloggers of all time. She only posts occasionally nowadays, but when she does, I’m all on it like a bee to a flower. Really bad pun, I know. But can we just laugh at my attempt to be light-hearted? She wrote this post a while back and I never forgot about it. Again, someone who knows how to say it so much better.
  • There’s a book series called “God’s Design for Sex” that I’d recommend. We have the first book for ages 3-5 called, The Story of Me. We’ve read it several times with Brennan.

I’ll admit, when I think about all we need to teach our kids about life in general blows me away and can send me into a panic if I start to think everything needs to be taught at once. My poor children! Usually, there have been specific situations that have precipitated our desire to get out The Story of Me and begin an age-appropriate introduction to sex. For example: when we started potty training and were faced with lots of body part talk; who can help him go potty; and what is never, ever good for anyone to do to him.

Also, we realized that as he started school again two mornings a week that he’s soaking up a lot more from other kids than what we’d like at times. We wanted to reiterate to him what we talked about during potty training, and that Daddy and Mommy want to be the ones to answer his questions, that he can always come to us about anything with any question. Our hope is that we will continue to initiate respectful conversations about our bodies and God’s intention for sex, and that he’d know that we are approachable. Even at three and a half, we emphasize that these conversations are for only our family at home. We might be completely crazy, but we helped him with something he could say to his friends or a group of peers that would casually release him from a such a conversation outside our home.

Did any of you bear with me through this? With gritted teeth? I know this is generally an uncomfortable topic, but it needn’t be within our families, with our children. We can ask God for wisdom on how to talk about sex with our kids, and He will generously supply it (James 1:5). Let’s just take the step to start talking about it so our kids can feel comfortable coming to us as their parents, and they can be better equipped to face what will be an onslaught of temptation and peer pressure.

Learning alongside you…and I can’t believe I’m hitting the ‘publish’ button to this,

Meghan

 

Comments

Very wise, Meg!

Good for you, Meg. What you said, needs to be said.

Beware other readers: This is more explicit than Meg's original post.

I am dealing with a young girl who gave up her virginity to get her boyfriend back. He stayed for a short while and then moved on to a girl who in known at our school for her sexual exploits. She talks openly about them. She comes from a home where mama is generous in that area also and is raising all her girls to follow in her footsteps. They are sweet girls who are tarnishing themselves and are regarded by most kids at school in a nasty way. She has no real friends. And she inadvertantly caused A. to give up something she wasn't ready to give up so that her boyfriend would not go elsewhere. In the end, he did anyway.

The young woman who is heart-broken has a wonderful mother who is a teaching collegue of mine (she teaches at the elementary school). I was having a conference with her about her son who has dyslexia and who M. fought to have in my regular classroom instead of the special ed classroom (he has several disabilities) and I gently asked about A. A. had come to me, but did not want her mom and dad to know. However, as her ex-boyfriend messed with her head with texts and broken promises, I put myself in M's place as a mother and thought I needed to carefully broach the subject and see where we went from there. As it turns out, A. had gone to her mom after all. M. teared up as did I as she proceeded to fill me in on some things. This is a beautiful young Christian girl who is extremely insecure about herself.

My point? It has to start young these days---open communication is essential so that when a less than ideal situaion occurs, your child will come to you. If the foundation is not there, then they will keep it to themselves. I don't think A felt comfortable discussing giving up her virginity with her mom---she listened to friends and ended up hurt. And her mom accidentally found out that she had. (Not from me, I didn't know that part.)
Laying the foundation early is essential. So many non-Christian influences are out there and I'm appalled at the girls who openly 'service' boys at our school (not at school of course)and who are proud of their expertise.

Your children will be under tremendous pressure and temptation more and more---start now to keep them on the right track and equipped to withstand the negative influences. I am seeing that sex is being viewed by kids as a commodity and not the beautiful relationship God intended it to be.

By the way, my days of only teaching English are long gone. I am mother, social worker, nurse, counselor, disciplinarian, moral instructor, with a bit of literature and writing thrown in.
And I'd much prefer kids be able to talk to their parents. (Please understand that I am extremely careful and I do know when I'm treading on thin ice and need to go higher up---counselor or contact parents. God leads; I follow, and last year it ended up with a suicide attempt not occuring because I listened and got the boy help.)
Oh and to clarify, my high school is a small rural school in the middle of what I call Ohio's Bible Belt. We are not some huge urban school with city influences.

So great to hear from you, Beth! I love seeing pictures of Sam on FB, and thank you for your encouragement.

Oh, Beth, that is so sad and devastating. Praying you can be an encouragement and a source of wise counsel God can use to show A her own dignity and worth in Him. 

YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!
LOVE that you wrote this! You are so wise and caring! I love that you hit "publish!"
I'm sure my parents 'tried' teaching about sex but my first memories of it were from a horrible sleepover in 5th grade at a friends house and having her brothers watching pornography videos while us girls were in and out of the room....
in 6th grade my first friend had an abortion...
as awkward as it is (and I can't even imagine myself) it is SO necessary and SO good to have it come from the safety of the parents, of mom and dad. Keep sharing this heartbeat of yours, Meghan. It makes a difference. You know one of my courses in grad school this semester is "Women in Pain" (HIGHLY recommend the book Shepherding Women in Pain" by Bev Hislop), anyway, we had a speaker come in a talk about sexual addiction. It was mainly focused on men, but the issue is rising with women as well. Anyway, the statistics are that between 8-10 years old most habits form regarding usage of porn, etc... all that to say...
I loved this... thank you. Remind me of it when/if I ever have kids :)

and thank you for being brave.... :)

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